With the Detroit Pistons set to have around $25-30 million dollars in cap space this offseason, could PJ Washington be a fit for Detroit? The 24-year-old will be a restricted free agent this offseason and could fit in with the Pistons young core rather nicely.
Detroit Pistons: A look at PJ Washington’s resume
PJ Washington has played all four years of his NBA career with the Charlottle Hornets. In 260 career games, Washington is averaging 12.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 37 percent from three. The former-first-round pick has started in 219 of those 260 games, while averaging 30.2 minutes per game.
In his fourth NBA season, Washington averaged a career high 15.7 points per contest. He did this while also taking 7.5 threes a game for Charlottle. While I don’t think he will get that many shots on a contending team, his efficiency numbers should get better as he plays with better teammates.
Fit on the Detroit Pistons
Perhaps the Detroit Pistons’ biggest need would be a wing that can defend and knock down perimeter shots. While Washington’s defense may not be his calling card, the Pistons would be signing him in hopes of improving their offense. The advanced numbers show Washington’s defense is around or slightly below league average.
In terms of his shooting, the 24-year-old had a .581 true shooting percentage, slightly above league average. There is no doubt Washington will improve the Pistons offense, but by how much? The intriguing part about PJ Washington’s game is that he has seen time as a small-ball five in the NBA. While this will probably be a nightmare defensively, it could open up some things for the Pistons if they decide to go small in the future.
Is PJ Washington worth the money?
If I were to guess, I would say the Hornets are going to do what they can to retain PJ Washington this offseason. While he may not be a core piece to a championship team, he can help a young team take a step forward, which is why the Pistons are an intriguing destination. Four years and $80 million came to mind for me, which would be an overpay, but Detroit is not exactly a free agent destination.
If it is not PJ Washington, Pistons fans will hope Troy Weaver can continue to hit in free agency, with his signing of Jerami Grant being one the franchise’s best moves in a long time. PJ Washington is young enough to fit the young core and he presumably has years until he hits his ceiling as an NBA player. Could he be the next Jerami Grant type of signing for Troy Weaver and the Detroit Pistons?